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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Stopping ‘scaffy-cairt’ pick-ups is a false saving for future cost

EX-COUNCILLORS sometimes like to claim fame for having established various community benefits during their periods of office. It isn’t really worth the bother. Life moves on and who did what gets forgotten.

However, I was really disappointed as I read through the council’s budget proposals to note that the Newcastleton and other areas’ special ‘scaffy-cairt’ visits (aka the Saturday lift) were to stop.

The Newcastleton Saturday lift was one of the fairly small initiatives I established well over 20 years ago under the good auspices of the then Roxburgh district council. It was extended to Lauder, Jedburgh and Kelso a few years ago.

The service involved a refuse collection vehicle standing in the village square for a couple of hours once a month on a Saturday morning to allow people to bring large unwanted domestic items for disposal. I would doubt that this vehicle ever left without a fair-sized load.

It began because of the need to take some drastic action to reduce the amount of fly-tipping.

This has always been a well-used, cost-effective and much-needed service which proved its worth in many ways and has been particularly effective in reducing countryside pollution. To cut it off is a false ‘saving’ in terms of future costs – both financial and social.

Twelve Saturday mornings a year, usually involving one vehicle and two men – how much does this really save? The yearly cost for these services for the four areas is £12,000, from a budget of £8.7m.

I hope the situation has been explained to the communities involved but would be very surprised if they find it acceptable.

Val Robson

Dhalling Park

Kirn, Dunoon

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